Epic Movie Review for Children

Overview:

Epic_(2013_film)_posterMary Katherine starts out on her “epic” adventure (pun intended) by going from one strange world into another. First, we see M. K. arrive at her dad’s secluded home to begin living with him after her mom had passed away (the parents were split). Well, the dad hasn’t exactly been around his daughter in a long time, and he continues his work while almost completely ignoring the arrival of his daughter. The dad is set on proving the existence of small creatures that run around at high speeds in the forest, and is convinced he is close to making his first discovery.

Long story short, M. K. leaves, only to find a tiny mystical creature who turns out to be the Queen of the forest. The queen gives M. K. a “blessed” pod, and leaves the fate of the forest in her hands.

Not epic enough for you? Mary Katherine then gets shrunk to the size of the mystical creatures and becomes one herself! Thus begins her journey as M. K. tries to save the forest and all of the creatures in it.

Positive Elements:

The most positive theme in Epic is the reconciliation that happens between M.K. and her dad. We see the obvious tension between them at the beginning of the movie, when M.K. accuses her dad of focusing only on his crazy work and not spending any time with her. By the end of the movie, we see M.K. realize that her dad’s work has paid off, and that their relationship has been reconciled when the dad sees the importance of putting effort and time into his relationship with his daughter. M.K.’s dad even states his wish that he had hoped to reconcile things with M.K.’s mom once his work was finished.

The miniature-sized Leafman (one of the people groups of the forest) fight against the evil Boggans and try to defend the magical pod against capture by the Boggan leader. Throughout this movie, the fight of good against evil is clear and easy for children to comprehend. At one point, M.K.’s dad makes a powerful statement: “Just because you haven’t seen something, doesn’t mean it’s not there.” This truth is evident in Epic, and it can be used as a great illustration for explaining to children about the spiritual battle between God and His angels against Satan and the forces of this world.

Family is another important part of life in the forest. The Leafmen place a high value on their family as well. Ronin, the leader of the Leafmen, “adopts” a young man, Nod, and treats him as a son, since his father had passed away while he was still a young boy. Queen Tara also shows her care for her people when she gives her life for the opportunity to save her people.

Another light theme in this movie is the notion of being environment-friendly. The good vs. evil battle rages on, with the fate of the forest being decided by the winner (will it live? will it die?). While not a prominent theme, most children will pick up on this message.

Good To Know… Content:

In Epic, there is a spiritual side of the forest. Queen Tara can wave her hand and cause things to grow. Her power is what is holding off the decay of the forest and brings life to everything in it. Her enemy Mandrake, leader of the Boggans, can touch anything and cause it to die. We also see Queen Tara dematerialize into a spirit after she dies, which reappears later when her power is given to the next successor. While the spiritual content in Epic might not be considered negative (because the whole movie is a fairy tale), it is worth discussing with young children who might get slightly confused while watching it.

Fighting occurs throughout Epic, with the main characters often defying logic to overcome impossible odds. The Leafmen have the ability to leap extremely high and survive falls from tall heights. Battles occur constantly, with the heroes avoiding death and rising above all odds to save everyone in the forest.

Nod and M.K. seem to have a thing for each other. While they innocently tease each other throughout the movie, we see them kiss once at the end of the movie.

Negative Elements:

Name-calling happens a few times in Epic, such as “jerk,” “idiot,” and a few silly names.

A fruit fly is shown rapidly aging, starting as a young fly and ending at its death. The whole sequence happens in about 15 seconds.

Look Out! Content:

Basically, take a look at the Good to Know… Content section to determine which elements are of concern to you. The whole fruit fly scene (mentioned in Negative Elements) might be a concern for scaring young children.

The only major thing that troubled me in Epic was the garb of the Boggans. Each warrior wore dead animal skins or skeletons, with mice skins appearing to be the most popular. The leader proudly displays his mouse skin cape and wears a skeleton head for his helmet. It was fairly disturbing to me, but will definitely disturb most children.

Conclusion:

Epic is a kids movie that depicts a battle between good and evil miniature people in the forest. While there are a few concerning themes, most children will be able to watch Epic and leave the theater while thinking about fighting against evil guys, riding hummingbirds, and shrinking into miniature people who can leap high and go on exciting adventures. Parents should weigh the pros and cons of this movie, then decide whether or not to make this movie a family night event.

Kid-Friendly Rating: Thumbs Up (light caution advised)